Dynamic markets: human smuggling from Africa to Europe


According to Europol, some 90% of irregular migration to Europe is ‘facilitated’ by smugglers or criminal groups who are paid to provide services such as transportation, fraudlent identification, bribes for border officials and settlement services. They exert influence on not only who moves, but also how, when and where people move. They also impact the safety and security of migrants along the journey, and the long-term stability of the states through which they transit.

New research draws on conversations with the smugglers themselves in Libya, Turkey, the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa to understand who the smugglers are behind Europe’s migration crisis, how they operate, what drew them into the trade, and how they are responding to international efforts to end illicit migration.

This seminar will identify the key characteristics of contemporary migrant smuggling, and how the industry is structured and has developed in response to EU policies. It will also explore implications for the future of irregular migration.

The research and policy reports will be available during the meeting.

This event is co-hosted with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Ottilia Maunganidze, Programme Head (acting) and Senior Researcher, ISS


Matthew Herbert, Senior Program Officer, Strategic Capacity Group

Mark Micallef, Executive Director, Migrant Report

Tuesday Reitano, Deputy Director, Global Initiative

Gabriella Sanchez, Assistant Professor, National Security Studies Institute, University of Texas El Paso

Peter Tinti, Senior Researcher, Global Initiative

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